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Mayday is UK’s public holiday, celebrated in pretty much all of Asia, is also an ancient festival. Thanks to this old event, which always fall on the first Mondays of May, we once again look forward to a long weekend. May Day, in the UK, is celebrated with Morris dancing, the crowning of the May Queen, singing, feasts as well as dancing around the maypole!
Where did maypole dancing originate?
Mayday is not just a British celebration, since a very long time, as it has been celebrated only around the Northern Hemisphere (while the Southern Hemisphere is getting ready for winter). It’s likely that it has its roots in pagan Anglo-Saxon customs to mark the beginning of summer.
Historically, large community gatherings would hold fetes and dances as a way of welcoming things coming to life and saying farewell to winter. It was an opportunity to bring communities, villages and towns together, to mark the beginning of springtime fertility.
Dancing around a pole, on Mayday, is a 600-year-old activity. Mayday, in medieval times, was celebrated by young men and women dancing around a specially-decorated tree; A slender tree was chosen, to have its branches cut off, to represent a pole; which is now known as the Maypole.
Mayday celebrations, tolerated by the church in the middle ages, were accompanied with drinking and dancing.
Those who sought to purify catholic practices, of the Church of England, were against the Mayday Celebrations; the purists viewed Mayday’s drinking, dancing as sin and Mayday practises as idolatry. The Protestant Reformation, of the 17thCentury, lead the parliament to ban Maypoles in 1644.
The country put up Maypoles after Charles II (protestant at that time, but a pro-catholic) was restored to the throne, as a celebration and sign of loyalty to the King.
The Lost May Day – the Children’s Game
In the 19th Century, with the Victorians, Maypole became a children’s game. Forgotten was the significance of Mayday with the general rejoicing at the return of summer and celebrating the growth of new vegetation but held on it as a “rustic delight”.
Maypole dancing involved dancers, pairs of boys and girls, steadily creating a multi-coloured pattern down a pole; and reversing their steps, the other direction, to undo the ribbons. The dance represents, as known by many, the lengthening of the days as summer approaches.
The Victorian era is famous for its loving feelings for the past and the emotional feelings the love of customs. The Victorians, on May 1st, held fairs and dances with lots of floral decorations.
Mayday celebrations, often, commenced with “bringing in May”. They ‘brought in the May’ by getting up early in the morning on May Day for flower picking into the countryside. Towns, parades and other festivities, with flowers, were decorated.
This parade was led by, the most beautiful teenage girl crowned by flowers, the May Queen. During the event, she was attended by several other girls, all wearing white, with flowers in their hair. They danced and sang, following the May Queen, for the parade.
It’s also known that this morning, women used to clean their faces with dew; preserving their beauty.
Llanfyllin carnival and the maypole dance
Decorating towns with flowers involved filling, heavily embellished, ‘May Baskets’ with bouquets; and hanging on doors. These May Day baskets were secretly delivered to neighbours and friends doors, in true generosity, without expecting anything in return; young individuals knocking on doors, running away without being seen, was one of the much-loved May Day enjoyments.
During the Victorian era, it act was carried out in pure generosity, giving without expecting anything in return.
Celebrate Mayday, the fun way!
Then as time went on different groups adapted Mayday to their beliefs and social interests. Today fewer celebrate Mayday, in a nonspiritual way, with fewer children Maypole dancing and little girls making flower crowns.
Mayday surely gives a bit of cultural scene, to young children, particularly young lassies, breezing about, on this bank holiday, with daisies on their heads.
Try celebrating Mayday by getting up before dawn and going out to wash your face in dew! Gather flowers, make them into garlands and give them to your friends to wear. You can also use this opportunity, by making up a ‘may basket’ of flowers to take to, to cheer someone up!
There is a range of Woodwork Hose, for woodworking and making May Poles, that we can provide at Masterflex Technical Hoses Ltd:
Available within days of ordering.
Medium duty Polyurethane, PU, flexible ducting, Polyurethane, PU wall thickness 0.5mm hardly Inflammable to DIN4102 B1
• Polyester polyurethane ducting
• Reinforced with embedded copper coated high tensile steel wire helix
• PU thickness = 0.5mm
• Highly flexible
• Hardly inflammable to DIN 4102 B1
• Supplied compressed and in nets
• Extraction of sawdust and woodchips
• woodworking machines
• oil mist extraction
Also suitable for dust, fumes and powder applications in a wide range of industries.
38mm to 400mm.
-40ºC to +90ºC (intermittent to +125ºC).
• FDA approved hoses
• Microbe resistant hoses
• Hydrolysis resistant hoses
• Other lengths available on request
Our hoses are available to order for businesses and for non-commercial use in a variety of application: from automotive to the military.
If you’d like to learn more about Masterflex Hoses for, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or call us on 0161 626 8066
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